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Defense dooms Rockies in doubleheader

The SportsXchange

The Colorado Rockies have been the worst defensive team in the National League all season. But they were absolutely awful Sunday while getting swept in a doubleheader by the Phillies by scores of 3-2 and 7-4.

Rookie catcher Wilin Rosario was charged with four passed balls in Game 1, two of them coming in the ninth inning when the Phillies scored and made losing pitcher Matt Belisle's line look worse than it was. In Game 2, the Rockies made a season-high five errors, one short of the franchise record.

Rosario leads the majors with 19 passed balls, four more than Josh Thole of the Mets, who is the primary catcher for knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

The modern-day major-league record for passed balls is six and is shared by Rube Vickers of the Reds on Oct. 4, 1902; Geno Petralli of the Rangers on Aug. 30, 1987; and Jerry Goff of the Astros on May 12, 1996.

Rosario was charged with a passed ball in the third and the eighth before his two in the ninth. Belisle began that inning with a strikeout before Jimmy Rollins singled, took second on a passed ball and was caught in a 1-4-5 rundown on a ball Nate Schierholtz hit. Rollins stayed in a rundown long enough for Schierholtz to reach second. Chase Utley was intentionally walked, as the Rockies chose to pitch to Ryan Howard. But a Rosario passed ball with Howard batting meant the Rockies had to intentionally walk Howard.

John Mayberry Jr. hit a low liner to short left field that Carlos Gonzalez made a dive for but couldn't quite catch.

In Game 2, third baseman Chris Nelson and shortstop Jonathan Herrera each made two errors and first baseman Jordan Pacheco made one, raising the Rockies' error total to 112 this season. The previous single-game high for errors this year by the Rockies was four on July 7 at Washington and May 5 against Arizona. The Rockies set a franchise record with six errors on June 4, 1996, at Houston.

Four of the Phillies' seven runs were unearned due to the errors -- two in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

"We lost the game defensively," manager Jim Tracy said. "We gave them four runs that they would not have had."

The Rockies went 4-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the doubleheader -- 2-for-11 in the first game and 2-for-9 in the second. The Rockies went 1-6 on their road trip to Atlanta and Philadelphia and scored 15 runs -- nine in their six losses. The Rockies have lost five straight games, their longest losing streak since they dropped five in a row July 27-Aug. 1 -- all at home, including three to the Reds and two to the Cardinals.
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